Welcome to the latest Regulatory Affairs Newsletter.
As reported in issue 108 of the Alchemist in February 2023, we are developing a compliance outreach programme in which we are building a database of contacts interested in receiving regulatory and compliance-related information from LBMA.
The database continues to grow and we now have more than 70 interested individuals.
The programme has improved our communication with existing – and new – Members and Refiners, enabling us to explain how we can help from a regulatory and compliance perspective. If you would like to arrange a session with LBMA’s Compliance team, please reach out to me to arrange.
In a recent conversation with a new Member, I was asked whether we had a simple do’s and don’ts checklist – and although we didn’t, the team thought it was a good idea to develop one. So, for starters, here goes.
- Register with MyLBMA
- Stay up to date with information on events, recent developments and updates by registering for the weekly newsletter, within MyLBMA.
- Adhere, and attest, to the Global Precious Metals Code.
- Understand the Rules for Members.
- Familiarise yourself with the Guide to the Loco London Precious Metals Market.
- Comply with all relevant economic/trade sanctions lists, which for the avoidance of doubt include, but are not limited to the UN, EU, UK and US sanction lists.
- Good Delivery Refiners:
- Adhere to the Good Delivery Rules.
- Adhere to the Responsible Gold Guidance.
- Advise LBMA if there are material changes in your corporate structure, or of any breaches of our standards.
- Familiarise yourself with the LBMA Brand Guidelines and if you see an organisation misusing the LBMA brand, please let us know
- Be afraid to ask questions; LBMA is here to help.
- Forget to register for our Conferences.
We are often asked what training tools are available from LBMA, and we are pleased to offer training covering the following areas:
Global Precious Metals Code
We are now seeing LBMA Member firms attesting to version 2 of the Global Precious Metals Code (GPMC). Please ensure this is on your radar and that you complete the GPMC attestation by year end at the latest as this is a condition of membership. Any questions about the Code, please feel free to reach out. As mentioned above, we also offer training on the GPMC.
At present, we are waiting for The UK Financial Services and Markets Bill to complete its journey through Parliament. The intent of the Bill is to make changes to the regulation of financial services in the UK, following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. This means that UK regulators will tailor rules for the UK markets and reflect their objectives, and allow for the ability to update rules in the future to reflect market developments. The Bill is known as the ‘Primary Bill’ but it is anticipated that secondary legislation will be required to address the necessary changes which are expected to take several years to complete.
The subject of supply chain due diligence is very much a revolving door and on that front we have been made aware of a piece of German legislation, the German Supply Chain Due Diligence Act (Lieferkettensorgfaltspflichtengesetz, LkSG), which could impact LBMA Members. The German Supply Chain Due Diligence Act applies to organisations with more than 3,000 employees in Germany, with this threshold expected to reduce to 1,000 employees on January 1, 2024, and requires them to comply with due diligence obligations by ensuring – or improving – compliance with human rights and material standards of environmental protection in supply chains.
Organisations that are required to comply with this legislation should develop and implement an ESG compliance policy that specifically addresses the relevant compliance risks in their own supply chain, in an effort to prevent human rights and environmental abuses. The due diligence obligations under the legislation will not only cover the organisation’s own business but also that of their direct suppliers and, in certain circumstances, indirect suppliers.
The work required in the legislation will ultimately require those captured to address human rights and environmental risks and to produce an annual report of the fulfilment of their due diligence obligations, which will be monitored by the Federal Office of Economics and Export Control.
Simmons and Simmons have kindly provided some more detail on this particular piece of legislation, whose contact details are available should you require further guidance.
While on this subject we are aware that the Swiss authorities have also implemented similar legislation entitled the Swiss Ordinance on Due Diligence and Transparency in relation to Minerals and Metals from Conflict-Afflicted Areas and Child Labour, which is applicable for those who have a place of business in Switzerland whose businesses are within the scope of the legislation.
On the ESG theme, on Friday, 14 April the EC published a series of answers to the following questions on the interpretation of the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation:
- How does the definition of ‘sustainable investment’ apply to investments in funding instruments that do not specify the use of proceeds, such as the general equity or debt of an investee company?
- How should ‘investment in an economic activity that contributes to an environmental objective’ or ‘investment in an economic activity that contributes to a social objective’ in SFDR be interpreted?
- Questions in respect of the interpretation of ‘considers’ in respect of Principal Adverse Impacts.
- Clarification of whether carbon emission reduction financial product would be a passive or active investment strategy.
- Can a financial product ‘promote’ carbon emission reduction as an ‘environmental characteristic’, rather than having it as an objective?
- Specific questions relating to the interpretation of passive and active investment strategies.
- Clarification of reporting requirements.
- Clarification of how the employee threshold is arrived at.
You can visit the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) website to find out the answers to these questions, and more besides.
For those of you impacted by SFDR you may find the Simmons and Simmons client note on this subject helpful.
Finally, while gold is not of the list of products in scope, we are aware that the UK government has issued a Consultation Paper entitled Addressing carbon leakage risk to support decarbonisation. Even though precious metals are out of scope we thought those of you who are involved in multi-metal businesses may wish to be made aware of this document, and the government’s question to industry.
If you would like to discuss any of the above points — or, for that matter, any other regulatory issue — please feel free to reach out to me on firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
I look forward to meeting with many of you over the summer, and at our Global Precious Metals Conference in Barcelona.